Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan didn't believe his illegal helmet-to-helmet hit Thursday night warranted a suspension. The NFL on Saturday decided otherwise.
Trevathan was suspended two games for violating the league's player safety rules with his hit on Packers receiver Davante Adams in the Bears' 35-14 loss in Green Bay. Trevathan has said he would appeal any suspension and has three business days to do so.
The NFL decided Trevathan violated the rule that prohibits unnecessary roughness, including using a player's helmet to butt, spear or ram an opponent violently.
Replays showed Trevathan launched himself and speared Adams in the face mask with the crown of his helmet while Adams was being restrained by safety Adrian Amos, who was trying to tackle him.
"I was just trying to make a play," Trevathan said Thursday. "It wasn't intentional. I was just trying to hustle to the ball and do my job. Unfortunately, he wound up hurt. I'm sorry about that."
Adams suffered a concussion and was taken from the field on a stretcher. He was released from a Green Bay-area hospital Friday and tweeted "At home feeling great."
Trevathan was penalized 15 yards for the hit but was not ejected. However, the NFL this season adopted a policy that allows the league to suspend players for such illegal hits, even if they don't have a track record of dangerous or malicious play.
"I regret just the level I hit him at," Trevathan said Thursday. "I could have been a little better. But you have to understand I was (gathering) momentum and I was just trying to make a play. Nothing intentional. It happens in this game."
Bears players have this weekend off, a brief hiatus allowed by their Thursday game. But after they gathered Friday to review video of the blowout loss, coach John Fox backed Trevathan publicly.
"Danny Trevathan is not a dirty player, and he's not out to hurt anybody," Fox said. "They're part of the game. People will look at it, but there was nothing intentional about it by any stretch."
If the two-game suspension is upheld, it would cost Trevathan $235,294.12 of his salary this season. He would miss upcoming games against the Vikings at home and the Ravens in Baltimore.
The Bears' inside linebacker depth is already being taxed because of injuries. Jerrell Freeman (left pectoral) is on injured reserve, and Nick Kwiatkoski (right pectoral) has missed the last two games. John Timu and Christian Jones have filled in next to Trevathan.